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Porchetta



Serves: up to 12 | Cooking Time: 4 hours

Ingredients

  • 2.5kg porc belly, bones and skin removed
  • 2.5kg loin of porc (score the skin with a knife)

Ask your butcher to cut equal sized pieces of belly and loin so that one fits nicely on top of the other

  • 25g coarse sea salt
  • 1 tbsp ground black pepper

For the paste:

  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 8 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 2 tbsp roasted fennel seeds
  • 1 tbsp grated lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp chilli flakes
  • 1 dessertspoon sugar
  • 10 stems fresh thyme, roughly chopped
  • 6 stems fresh rosemary, roughly chopped
  • 8 stems fresh sage leaves, roughly chopped
  • 6 tbsp of olive oil

Method

  1. Lay the porc belly flat on a work surface and sprinkle with half the salt and lots of ground black pepper, rubbing it well into the meat.
  2. Leave to rest for 10 minutes.
  3. Cut 10 lengths of string, each about 30cm.
  4. Make a paste in a pestle and mortar or a small electric blender. Start by pounding the sea salt and garlic together, then gradually add everything else. Pour in the olive oil to make a nice thick paste.
  5. Spread the mixture over the belly porc and top with the piece of prepared loin. Tie at equal intervals with the string.

Smoke, Low and Slow Method

  • Set the base of your smoker with a ½ a chimney of lit coals. Light another half and place this in the centre. The temperature gauge should be between 100-125°C. Add 1 soaked wood chunk per 2kg of meat. Smoke for 2.5 hours for 2kg.
  • If smoking a larger joint to serve around 12 people, prepare a Porchetta weighing 5kg; use 4 soaked wood chunks and smoke low and slow for 3 hours, before finishing on the BBQ.

BBQ and Quick Smoke Method

If you don’t have a smoker, then this method will give you a light, but impressive smoky finish. You can cook the Porchetta completely on the BBQ and add a little smoke using apple or cherry wood chips. You may wish to brine this for 24 hours, then drain and dry well with tea towels. Prepare as in the recipe and leave wrapped in the fridge for another 24 hours. Remove from the fridge for 45 minutes before barbecuing.

  • Soak 2 handfuls of wood chips for 15 minutes.
  • Set your BBQ for indirect cooking with 1 full chimney of lit charcoal. If the temperature of the BBQ is slightly too high to begin with, use the ventilation holes on the bottom and the top to control it by closing them for a while. You can open them fully once the temperature has dropped.
  • Once the BBQ reaches 200°C place the porc along the centre and add a handful of soaked wood chips directly to each basket of coals.
  • Close the lid and cook for approximately 3 hours - check the centre temperature of the porc, it should reach 70-75°C.

To Finish

Place the smoked Porchetta on a preheated BBQ set at indirect heat, 200°C for 20 minutes for a 2kg or 1 hour for 5kg. The internal finish temperature should be 75°C, rest for 30 minutes before carving.



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